Archive for October, 2017

How can you understand what’s really going on in the world’s conflict zones?

October 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

There are so many conflicts around the world and each has its own complexities which are rarely covered in the media. Recently, a briefing was put together for British Parliamentarians by a significant number of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the leadership of the Humanitarian and Conflict Policy groups of the organisation Bond for which my […]

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A review of the under-known and under-appreciated 1971 film “The Last Valley”

October 29th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Over my many years of cinema-going, I’ve viewed a whole range of movies with titles beginning “The Last ..” including “The Last Emperor” (1987) and “The Last Samurai” (2003). “The Last Valley’ may not be the best-known film with this kind of title, but it made an impression on me when I first saw it […]

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This is a (very, very scary) story of which I previously knew nothing

October 28th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“A senior officer of a Soviet submarine who averted the outbreak of nuclear conflict during the cold war is to be honoured with a new prize, 55 years to the day after his heroic actions averted global catastrophe. On 27 October 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov was on board the Soviet submarine B-59 near Cuba when […]

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The unequal distribution of wealth in modern Britain

October 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Last week, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published the latest in a series of discussion papers for the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice. “Wealth in the twenty-first century: inequalities and drivers“, by Carys Roberts and Mat Lawrence, sets out the facts and trends on the distribution of wealth in the UK. Stark inequalities […]

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How can newspapers survive when advertising revenue is pouring online?

October 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I am a paid subscriber to the “Guardian” newspaper which has just issued this encouraging statement: “The Guardian is now funded by more than 800,000 supporters from more than 140 countries. Half a million readers are subscribers or members, or give to us on a monthly basis, while over the past 12 months we’ve received […]

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What’s going on in Kenya’s (second) presidential election?

October 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In the last two years, I’ve been out to Kenya four times because my son has been working there. So I have more than a passing interest in the political situation in the country. On 8 August 2017, a presidential election was held in which the incumbent was declared to have won by nine percentage […]

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The Russian Revolution: the centenary

October 25th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the second – the decisive October – Russian Revolution, a massively important event in modern history. You can read my short review of a recent book on the revolution in the context of the period 1891-1991 here. If you’re really interested in the subject, you can […]

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A review of “The Girl From Venice” by Martin Cruz Smith

October 24th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the third novel that I have read by prolific American author MCS, folowing “Gorky Park” and “Havana Bay”. I guess that the title has been chosen to encourage sales because the feminine noun seems to everywhere. The trend was probably started by the spectatular success of the English-language translations of the three Millennium […]

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The Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) and improving air quality in London

October 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Today Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, introduced the Toxicity Charge (or T-Charge) in central London to tackle emissions from the oldest polluting vehicles. Since I’ve lived in London for 46 years and visit central London several times a week, I welcome this policy. The T-Charge is part of a package of actions intended to […]

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Does truth really matter? Or should we just accept that people have different views?

October 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I recently had dinner with some friends and we got to discussing truth – as you do. This is a subject I’ve thought about a lot, most recently in the so-called era of post-truth manifested by the utterances of President Trump. Why does truth matter? What techniques do people use to deny truth? What techniques should we […]

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